Sunday 19 November 2017

Good day for Dunne as Bubba sets early pace

It was also another good day for Paul Dunne. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
It was also another good day for Paul Dunne. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

William S Callahan

Bubba Watson topped the leaderboard at the Shenzhen International after an opening round curtailed first by the threat of lightning before darkness saw play suspended for the day.

It was also another good day for Paul Dunne as the Greystones star continued where he had left off in Morocco by posting an opening round of two-under par 70, which included a triple bogey at the fifth. Dunne recovered by shooting five birdies.

Meanwhile, two-time Masters winner Watson, making his fourth appearance at the tournament, recovered from an early bogey to post a six-under 66.

That gave the American a one-shot lead over the rest of the field, with five players tied on five under and a further four just two off the pace.

Starting on the back nine, Watson dropped his only shot on his third hole - the 12th - but bounced back with three birdies over the next four holes to reach the turn in 34.

He picked up another shot on the first before sinking an eagle on the next, then finishing his round with a final birdie to card six under and claim the clubhouse lead at the Genzon Golf Club.

"You know anytime you shoot six under, you're happy with it but every golfer can pick and choose what they wish they did better. But all-in-all a great day and a good start," said Watson.

Watson had completed his round when almost two hours of play was lost because of the lightning threat, while South African pair Dean Burmester and Haydn Porteous, France's Gregory Bourdy, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Maximilian Kieffer of Germany were also able to finish to sit within a shot of the leader.

Porteous mixed 10 birdies with three bogeys and a double bogey to leave himself alongside Burmester, who had a single bogey in his round of 67.

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods has announced he has undergone successful back surgery.

The 41-year-old released a statement confirming he had an operation to alleviate "ongoing pain in his back and leg".

The 14-time major winner announced: "The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain.

"When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long."

Irish Independent

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